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The Mercedes of Hex Fuzz Boxes: 13 Pin Distortion Done Right

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:44 am
by rhcole
There's a reason Roland's GR-D hex distortion is being blown out for $99. The GR-S is a steal at that price to me, but many think of the D as the far weaker twin of the two.

But, you say you want SERIOUS HEX DISTORTION done the RIGHT WAY? Are you addicted to the BEST? Do you get to screen your credit card bills before your wife sees them???
Look no further: ... ic-guitars ... -overdrive

Impressively pricey at $595, but built by crazed artists chasing rainbow ponies in the clouds.
From Estonia, no less.

Features a fully analog signal path of fuzz tones with hex string separations and processing. For the right person, this is IT, MAN!

It brings a tear to my eye for the sheer artistry of the effort. It's like reconnecting with your high school buddies to work up a version of Free Bird that takes you weeks to get right only to play it once at a back yard barbecue with your wives admiring and your kids holding their ears.

re: The Mercedes of Hex Fuzz Boxes: 13 Pin Distortion Done R

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:51 am
by Coda
I don't have any hex gear, but your metaphors alone are worth the read! :laughhard:

re: The Mercedes of Hex Fuzz Boxes: 13 Pin Distortion Done R

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:35 pm
by Barnacle Bob
That's a wild thing to wake up to.

I've been doing lots of preparation work on a similar box.

The demo videos certainly validate the concept.

They should find somebody who can play a guitar for the demos.

re: The Mercedes of Hex Fuzz Boxes: 13 Pin Distortion Done R

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:28 am
by firstguitarfan
Just read A LOT about this and watched the video, very interesting indeed. SO you COULD route your guitar here and then to your GP10.
What a wonderful world.

re: The Mercedes of Hex Fuzz Boxes: 13 Pin Distortion Done R

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:57 am
by Barnacle Bob
I see that the website has been greatly enhanced. There are manuals, etc.
From them, we can get a glimpse of the innards. There's a CPU in there, controlling six analog distortion circuits, each of which can be configured for clean (probably a bypass), overdrive, crunch, or fuzz. Control is probably via FETs for switching, and definitely by digital pots for various levels. There are other neat features, like the LFOs that can be assigned to various preset knobs, MIDI syncing, sequencing, programmable presets, MIDI control, breakout to a sound card or I/O box for processing in a DAW, potentially very cool panning of individual strings, piezo compensation, etc. Since the CPU isn't actually processing the audio, I think there's room for more features as software is written too.

My big problem with it is the fixed distortion channels. They're each like a traditional 4-channel amp, with the usual gain and drive controls, and limited single-knob filtering. You're either going to like the three distortions, or you won't, just as you might like an amp or not, depending on your taste. You're stuck with them. Looking at amps, I see lots of the same basic architecture, with lots of caps and resistors that act like interactive secret knobs that the designer pre-set and hid. Well, they're hidden again. It's not six modelling amps in a box.

More flexibility implies more software, and you can argue about how many degrees of almost infinite variability you really need, but if you don't like the distortion, you're pretty much stuck.

Connectivity seems weak too. USB 2.0 output is the best way to get to/from a DAW with multiple channels but the box just leaves you with four TRS cables, more than six strings isn't really supported, etc.

There's lots to play with there, as you explore the non-intuitive user interface and many features, and try to tame it an expand it with MIDI, but will it sound good to you? It's the hex equivalent of a clean amp and three distortion stomp boxes, and you don't get to choose the stomp boxes.

I'm impressed with their agency approvals. I'll bet they spent ten thousand euros for those. That's the price you pay for putting a computer in it.

Anyway, it's a good first entry in a new category, and I hope they do well. I don't think they'll poison the well.